The Instigator
Con (against)
The Contender
Pro (for)

Corporal punishment should be implemented in a school setting

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Debate Round Forfeited
sronicker has forfeited round #2.
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/26/2016 Category: Education
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 609 times Debate No: 95652
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (0)




1. Bible is not a valid source
2. ALWAYS STATE SOURCES (if you do not give sources you automatically lose)
3. Please be kind

round 1- acceptance
round 2- cases ( not rebuttals)
round 3- rebuttals against cases not the other persons rebuttals


Before I really get started I want to comment on the rules. Rule 1, the Bible is not a valid source. Why would this be a rule? Does my opponent have a bias against the religious text that most Christians follow? Why does my opponent care so much about that with regards to this issue? That seems rather condemning of my opponent's biases. Rule 2, always state sources (if you do not give sources you automatically lose). This too is an interesting rule. Is there something magically true and perfectly right about sources? What if my source is a KKK website? I can still win the argument because I cited my source! This seems to betray another interesting bias. A bias towards automatic acceptance/reliance on "scientific" studies. No one can win a debate against someone who has already denied the validity of anything that is against what they already believe. Though I guess, to be fair, I'm not really aiming my arguments at convincing my opponent so much as you, the readers. And what am I going to try to convince you of?

Well, first off, I know I'll never win on the very strong position "corporal punishment should be implemented in a school setting." There's no way I could convince you that public school teachers should spank (or otherwise physically punish) their students. I don't want that any more than you or my opponent does. What I will be arguing for is the more modest idea, "corporal punishment should NOT be OUTLAWED in a school setting." Study after study, which I'm sure my opponent will reference has shown that physically punishing children can have harmful results. I have no doubt that that general point is true. However, I would argue, and this is the main crux of my position, all those studies have been aimed at the wrong idea. They seem to be aimed at proving what we all know intuitively. That is, the more an adult hurts a child the worse that child will behave/develop. But, that's not what corporal punishment should be. The position paper of the Journal of Adolescent Health on this topic defines it as this: "Corporal punishment refers to intentional application of physical pain as a method of changing behavior [1]." (They're referencing Straus MA, Mouradian VE. Impulsive corporal punishment by mothers and antisocial behavior and impulsiveness of children. Behav Sci Law 1998;16:353–74.) Sure this is a fine general definition, but look at the source, "Impulsive corporal punishment by mothers ..." Corporal punishment cannot be impulsive. The effectiveness of any punishment system is in its comprehensiveness and consistency. If an authority says, "Don't do that or I'll ..." and then doesn't follow through and lets the child slide and continue to get away with whatever behavior the adult is trying to change, it'll never work. It doesn't matter if the threat is physical or non-physical punishment, if it's not carried out consistently and fairly, it's worthless. Impulsive punishment also won't work (again whether it's physical or otherwise). What is the goal of punishment/discipline? Are those two the same?

Let's look at the issue from a totally different perspective. Let's think of discipline and punishment as two very different things. Discipline is a way to change behavior and is generally not physical. Punishment is retribution or the base result of breaking the rules/laws/regulation. Punishment can lead to or even cause a person to change his/her behavior, but that's not the primary goal of punishment. The goal of punishment is to mete out the consequences of wrong actions. Given that view, the goal of corporal punishment isn't to change behavior at all. Which means all those studies that my opponent will undoubtedly speak about, are wrong-headed in the first place. Discipline should use various methods get a child to change his/her own behavior. Punishment is the consequences for not changing one's behavior. Punishment need not be physical, and I would readily admit that in today's culture, physical punishment would probably lead to more problems than necessary. That's why I think the issue shouldn't be the encouragement of corporal punishment in schools, rather the permissibility of it. Think about how it looks from the unruly student's position if the worst punishment for misbehavior is expulsion from school. Taking away corporal punishment leaves school punishment toothless. The worst punishment for misbehavior at school is, not having to go to school anymore?! In many cases that's what the unruly student wants in the first place! Discipline should be multifaceted and non-physical to encourage growth and self-discipline. That's the goal after all, to get the child to control him/herself so as to not get punished because he/she doesn't do anything wrong. Discipline says, change, change, change, and here's how we, as your leaders, will help you change. Punishment says, you've done wrong, here are the consequences.

Let's not hamstring the people who are supposed to be leading our children, in fact let's not hamstring ourselves by not meting out punishment when it is deserved.

Debate Round No. 1


Thank you for accepting my debate however I believe we are on the same side. You have in a way tried to change my resolution to something I am not interested in debating. I was looking to debate against someone who has the belief that it is good to use corporal punishment and you I am sorry to say have just demonstrated not to be that person. I am going to forfeit further rounds and I hope you will do the same seeing as you never had the intention of debating my resolution.

I also would like to say that the reason for my rules is in no way a statement against christians and their holy book, I have however had opponents in my debates who say that my argument is false and the reason for that is because god said so or because it's in the bible my idea is correct. I do not believe in a god and I am not interested in debating religious beliefs. I also wish to make sure that my opponent will provide me with actual studies and not made up ones that is why I ask for sources.

Thank you for your time and perhaps we will debate another topic someday.
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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by TheBenC 1 year ago
My elementary school principal was allowed to spank kids and had to do so a few times each year. It actually worked.
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